I feel conflicted when it comes to New Years’ Resolutions. On one hand, making big changes requires a conscious decision (or resolution); getting your finances in order requires preparation, eating better requires throwing out the stash of Lindor truffles in your underwear drawer. So having a start date for a planned change makes sense. Also, there is something to be said about a fresh start; people who quit smoking on Mondays actually do have a higher success rate than people who stop on any other day. I always start diets or exercise routines on Mondays…with middling results.
On the other hand, people in brand-new exercise gear taking up valuable treadmill space when I know they’ll be gone by February makes me mad enough to burn things.
Ever since there has been a New Years, there have been New Years Resolutions. January is actually named for the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. Every January first, the Romans would make promises to Janus regarding their behaviour for the upcoming year (less pillaging? More pillaging?) . Similarly, the ancient Babylonians, who are thought to be the creators of the NY Resolution, made promises at the start of a new year. But their resolutions were not aimed towards improving themselves, but their aim was to settle a debt they owed or return a kindness shown to them in the past year, to make things right again, which is an interesting thought. Now we tend more towards bettering ourselves in some way, with the most popular resolutions being to quit a bad habit (smoking/drinking/spending/twinkies) or to start a better one (jogging/quality time with family/volunteering).
However we do it, and whatever is resolved, people have always loved the idea of a new start. There is something so tempting about the idea that this year, something is going to be better.
Personally, I don’t really make resolutions on New Years Eve. I think that when you’re ready to make a big change, the time to do so will present itself. For me, it always has. The summer I was unemployed = time to work out and learn to cook healthy meals = sustainable weight loss. Finally graduating from 8 years of post-secondary schooling and getting real job = getting my financial shit in order and opening a savings account like a grown up. I had resolved to do both of these things a hundred times before, but it wasn’t the right time. I make frequent resolutions and I have my goals for the foreseeable future (read Anna Karenina, Take more photos, learn a new musical instrument and get back into my running), but those have nothing to do with the dawning of a new year. The only thing I promise myself on NYE is to drink a glass of water before passing out.
Then again, why not at New Years? They say that resolutions are more successful when you tell people about them, and NYE is prime time to find a goal buddy. NY resolutions may be cliché and uninspired, but any steps that people take towards bettering themselves should be applauded. Maybe for some people NYE was the perfect time for them to start volunteering/ stop using recreational crack cocaine/ learn to ski.
So maybe while I figure this out I should stop glaring at all the January additions to my yoga class.
If only they would stop using 2 mats at once and taking up so much space…and stop wearing makeup to the gym, it only highlights that you’re not here for serious exercise. Pick up a hottie when you’re seductively posed against something thats NOT a machine I wish to use.
And for the love of god don’t use elliptical time to call your friend and tell her all about your possible UTI loud enough so I have to hear all about it too.
Also today I couldn’t even get into the gym, it was so crowded, and they won’t build new gyms because the know the crowds will die down soon.
Nope, I can’t do it. Pretend that it’s February and get your Lulu Lemon-ed ass out of my way and back on the couch.